With the launch of Apple’s iPhone 4 and Google’s constant upgrades of its Android Operating System(OS) technology, businesses and consumers alike have two major mobile platforms to consider in their mobile marketing. But which will be more critical?
The Rise of Android
At first glance, you would assume iPhone devices are the most popular in Australia. Millions of Australians have purchased the latest iPhone 4 for business and personal use. The latest multitasking capabilities are the focal point for many individual consumers, but the iPhone is just as competitive in the corporate marketing domain. In July this year, Google announced that Android activations had surpassed 100,000 a day. NPD Group reported that in the first quarter of 2010, Android devices outsold iPhones in the United States. The momentum for the Android phone has been building in the last two years and unlike the iPhone, prices are actually coming down. The operating system is evolving and maturing fast, making the Android device a high quality, low cost alternative to the iPhone.
Right Platform for your target market
A business must consider the platform their target market is using. Obviously the iPhone OS runs on iPhones, and now on iPads, which are skewed towards the consumer market. The Android OS is implemented across a wide range of devices, not just Google’s, and the business market tend to have more access to these devices, for example, HTC. At first, the iPhone was perceived as a consumer gadget but Apple has worked to develop a set of tools to make the iPhone fit for business use. A number of these enable IT administrators to deploy, monitor and manage iPhones in the enterprise, enabling businesses to take control of their marketing messages. iPhone vs Android
Businesses can use and/or create Applications (Apps) for their target market to share their products, services and brand. There are more than 200,000 apps available in the Apple App Store. According to AndroLib, the Android Market now boasts 92,000 applications and is set to surpass 100,000 by month’s end. Both iPhone and Android have capabilities to send advertisements to users. However, according to Chitika, an online ad network, Android users are a better target when it comes to mobile advertising as they clicked on ads 81% more frequently than did iPhone users.
Bells and Whistles
Both Android devices and iPhones share ‘bells and whistles’ which make them similar when it comes to marketing your business. The following are some points of difference. Flash Capabilities Much of the video content and interactive advertising on the web is Flash based, and requires the Adobe program to function correctly. Android devices support Flash and allow businesses to market content through rich imagery, interactivity and video content. The iPhone, at this point, does not.
Shared Wi-FI Connection
Android devices 2.2 and onwards are capable of acting as mobile wi-fi hot spots, with up to eight devices able to share the connection. More internet connectivity increases the chance of users viewing advertisements, clicking on to websites, receiving targeted emails or seeing campaigns.
The iPhone has a unified inbox, rather than having a separate inbox for each email account. This is a plus for email marketing, as all email will go to the one inbox and conversations remain threaded for feature messaging.
The focus of the Australian marketing industry is on the iPhone domain at the moment which is considered to be the current “Champ”. But watch out for Android, the “Challenger”! Some believe that Android will soon lead the way in the Smartphone market. With the evolving operating system and continuous decrease in pricing Android handsets could soon take over the iPhone. In developing Mobi sites and Apps, as well as current websites, marketers should be aware of both platforms in their marketing strategies. With the iPhone being front and centre, they should not ignore Android as it may be more critical in future.